The climate emergency is one of the key challenges of our generation, if not the biggest. Overcoming it will require an enormous effort on the part of all stakeholders – legislators, industry and citizens. The necessary mix of avoidance measures and adjustments will need massive investments to be made, so as to open up a whole range of opportunities for dynamic and innovative economies and companies. For the future of Austria as an industrial location, it is therefore critical to take action today for decarbonisation in all sectors. More on this at www.energy2050.at
Sector coupling and sector integration
The decarbonisation of industry and the energy system is the central political challenge. The UN Climate Agreement of Paris and the EU Climate and Energy Targets – a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 – set a clear direction of travel for reducing CO2 emissions. A central role in this regard is given to sector coupling, the networking of electricity from renewable sources with the areas of heat, transport and industrial processes. The goal is to gradually replace fossil energy sources with CO2-free electricity, to decarbonise the energy system and to bring about urgently needed flexibility in the use of energy.
Green hydrogen, which is generated through the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity, shows enormous potential for decarbonising the energy and industrial system and making it more flexible. Energy companies, industry and the research sector will present their first joint projects during energy2050.
Megacities and microgrids
The fight against climate change will be decided in the cities, as the urban population is set to almost double in the next four decades. “It therefore needs intelligent infrastructures that will contribute towards solving these challenges. The fact that this is possible is shown by the interaction of energy technology and intelligent software, such as in Aspern, where we are carrying out intensive research with partners on one of the most innovative and sustainable energy efficiency demonstration projects in Europe,” says SIEMENS Austria CEO Wolfgang Hesoun. Using real data from the urban development area of Seestadt Aspern, innovative solutions are being developed for the energy future in the urban space. “On the way to the energy future, decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation will be inextricably linked.” Another important aspect for saving CO2 is microgrids – a central system for the small-scale supply of electricity. “They can be operated in combination with and/or independently from the traditional grid, thus revolutionising the way in which we manage our energy resources,” says Hesoun.
Time to act!
“We are the first generation to experience the climate emergency first hand and the last generation in a position to turn the ship around. We have the knowledge, the financial resources and the technical possibilities to do so – we have to act now!” says VERBUND CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber in his opening speech at energy2050.
More than ever before, this year’s energy2050 is about solutions for overcoming the climate emergency and creating a clean energy future for all. The energy industry is also required to act, as are the sectors of industry and mobility. Is sector coupling merely a buzzword or the key to the energy transition? But is decarbonisation possible with economic growth? Will a CO2 price be the end of us or move us forward? What does sector coupling entail for the consumer? What must be done – by energy companies, industry, business, legislators and society – to change the rules of the game? These questions will be discussed over the next three days during energy2050 in Fuschl. More information at www.energy2050.at
Amongst the presenters:
Dr.-Ing. Katharina Beumelburg, Senior Vice President Strategy, Siemens Gas & Power
Dr. Florian Ermacora, Head of Unit Wholesale Markets Electricity and Gas, Internal Energy Market Directorate, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission
Tara Esterl, Scientist, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Dipl.-Kfm. Joerg Alexander Ferchow, Chief Solution Expert Digital Strategy, SAP SE
Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick, Vice President, Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie GmbH
Kai Gondlach, Senior Researcher, 2b AHEAD ThinkTank GmbH
Prof. Dr. Stefan Gröner, Strategy Consultant & Future Researcher
Dr. Timur Gül, Head of the Energy Technology Policy (ETP), IEA
Andreas Guth, Director Policy, Eurogas
Michael Hirschbrich, CEO and founder, Apollo.ai GmbH
Christian Holzleitner, Head of Department of DG CLIMA, European Commission
Wilhelm Molterer, Managing Director, European Investment Bank
Kristian Ruby, Secretary General, Eurelectric aisbl
Michael Sattler, Head of Future Energy, OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH